(CNN) - Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, who previously supported Jon Huntsman, endorsed Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday.
"I've met accomplished and strong leaders in my life," Ridge said in a statement released by Romney's campaign. "Mitt Romney is one of them."
Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge endorsed Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire Friday, calling him "the pragmatic leader that America needs now."
"I believe he has the judgment, the temperament and the vision to lead America," Ridge said as Huntsman stood beside him. "I believe he has that vision to make America a more secure and prosperous and competitive nation."
(CNN) - The man who allegedly lit an explosive on board a U.S.-bound international flight deserves none of the constitutional protections afforded American citizens, a former top Bush administration official said Monday.
Tom Ridge, who served as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005, made the comments on CNN's "Larry King Live."
"I take a look at this individual who has been charged criminally, does that mean he gets his Miranda warnings? The only information we get is if he volunteers it?" Ridge said. "He's not a citizen of this country. He's a terrorist, and I don't think he deserves the full range of protections of our criminal justice system embodied in the Constitution of the United States."
Ridge also said he was "not surprised" about reports that two former detainees in the detention center at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had joined up with the group that claimed responsibility for Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab's failed terrorist attack.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, denied Tuesday that he attacked former colleagues Donald Rumsfeld and John Ashcroft in his controversial new book.
Ridge called them "people whose opinions I respect immensely" on CNN's "American Morning."
He made headlines recently by saying he fought their proposal to raise the U.S. terror threat level in the run-up to the 2004 presidential elections.
In his book, "The Test of Our Time," he implied that politics may have played a
role in the proposal to raise it. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Attorney General Ashcroft strongly advocated raising the security threat level to "orange" - even though Ridge believed a threatening message from Osama Bin Laden "should not be the sole reason to elevate the threat level."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – A former Bush administration official said she thinks former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge's recent charges that politics were behind raising the terror level in 2004 were "personally motivated."
In a new book, Ridge says top Bush administration officials may have tried to raise the nation's terror alert for political reasons in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.
In response, Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush and now a CNN contributor, told CNN's "American Morning" that she believes Ridge is trying to profit by separating himself politically from Bush's record.
"You have to wonder if this is not just publicity meant to sell more books," Townsend said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he successfully countered an effort by senior Bush administration officials to raise the nation's terror alert level in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.
"An election-eve drama was being played out at the highest levels of our government" after Osama bin Laden released a pre-election message critical of President Bush, writes Ridge in his new book, The Test of Our Times.
Attorney General John Ashcroft and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld strongly advocated raising the security threat level to "orange" – even though Ridge believed a threatening message "should not be the sole reason to elevate the threat level."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge says he successfully countered an effort by senior Bush administration officials to raise the nation's terror alert level in the days before the 2004 presidential vote.
Frances Townsend, a former Homeland Security advisor to President Bush and now a CNN contributor, denied politics played any role in the request to raise the threat level.
"There was a debate," Townsend said on CNN's The Situation Room Thursday. "Tom Ridge wasn't the only person in that meeting who suggested that the terror alert shouldn't be raised. At no time was there any discussion of politics at that meeting. And the president was made a recommendation, a consensus recommendation from the council that he accepted, not to raise the terror alert."
The former Pennsylvania governor also writes that he saw no reason for the move – which he now calls a bad idea - because additional security precautions had already been taken in the run-up to the election. "We certainly didn't believe the tape alone warranted action, and we weren't seeing any additional intelligence that justified it. In fact, we were incredulous," he said of the push. "…I wondered, 'Is this about security or politics?'"
(CNN) - Pennsylvania Republican Tom Ridge is taking direct aim at Rush Limbaugh, telling CNN's John King the conservative talk radio host can be "shrill" and uses language in a way "that offend very many."
"Rush Limbaugh has an audience of 20 million people. A lot of people listen daily to him and live by every word. But words mean things and how you use words is very important," Ridge, the former Homeland Security Secretary under President Bush, said during an interview airing Sunday on CNN's State of The Union.
"It does get the base all fired up and he's got a strong following," Ridge continued. "But personally, if he would listen to me and I doubt if he would, the notion is express yourself but let's respect others opinions and let's not be divisive."
The comments come in the wake of a war of words between Limbaugh and Colin Powell, during which the former secretary of state suggested the GOP's future was in peril if it went in the direction of the popular radio talker. Limbaugh quickly hit back, proclaiming Powell is part of the "stale, the old, the worn-out GOP that never won anything."